Kyle Summers holds a stop sign — school violence

Teacher Kyle Summers holds a stop sign as students cross 14th street after the first day of school at Washington Middle School Monday, Aug. 24. Law enforcement officials said Thursday, Dec. 16, that they are aware of a nationwide trend on TikTok, a social media platform, where users are threatening acts of violence against schools across the country on Dec. 17. Franklin County Sheriff Steve Pelton said there are no known threats against schools in Franklin County. 

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Department will be increasing security measures at area schools after they were made aware of a national TikTok trend where users threaten violence at schools on Dec. 17. 

“At this time, there is no known threats to any schools in Franklin County,” Franklin County Sheriff Steve Pelton said. “It is important that the public understands that vigilance in reporting potential threats is necessary for the safety of the public and our schools.”

Pelton said the increased security measures will remain in effect until the schools adjourn for Christmas break. 

Individuals who have information regarding potential violence against schools or individuals are encouraged to call 911 or to call the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, 636-583-2560.

“Investigators are standing by to investigate any threats schools in Franklin County may receive,” Pelton said. 

While there are no known threats at area schools, Pelton said parents should still talk with their children about “the potential consequences of engaging in this dangerous behavior.”

“We ask that our communities continue to be vigilant and report any threats,” Pelton said. 

According to law enforcement officials, the original TikTok challenge was for students to skip school on Dec. 17. At some point, the challenge was changed to threats of violence in schools.